Daal Thadka / Parippu Curry / Pappu curry

Dal is a very good source of protein and is highly recommended for vegetarians. Toor Dal or yellow split pigeon pea is a common variety of dal which is used as staple food in most of the places in India, though not in Kerala. I think this could be due to the availability of lots of fresh fish in Kerala πŸ˜‰

Toor Dal is a basic ingredient for the famous Indian curry Sambar, so it is also called sambar dal. Dal Tadka is a simple preparation of toor daal using fried spices. Adding some green leaves like drumstick leaves or spinach (palak) can enhance the taste and nutrition of the dish.

I hope this simple recipe will be useful for new cooks πŸ˜‰

Daal Thadka with Drumstick Leaves


  • Toor Daal : 2 cups
  • Tomato : 1 (cut in to 4 pieces)
  • Turmeric : ΒΌ teaspoon
  • Green chillies : 1
  • Oil – 5 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds : Β½ teaspoon
  • Cumin seed : 1 teaspoon
  • Onion : 4 small onions (take half if you have only normal onions)
  • Garlic cloves : 3-4
  • Curry leaves : 4-5
  • Chilli powder : 1 teaspoon
  • Red dried chilli : 1
  • Fenugreek seeds : ΒΌ teaspoon
  • Salt : 1 teaspoon (to taste)
  • Water : 5 cups
  • Drumstick leaves/Spinach (cut in to small pieces) : 1/2 cup

Preparation :
In a pressure cooker add dal (pigeon peas) along with water (4 cups), tomato, green chillies and turmeric. Keep the pressure cooker on high flame/heat and wait for the first whistle. After the first whistle, reduce the flame/heat to low and keep for 10-15 minutes. Switch off the flame and open the pressure cooker after 10 minutes. If you prefer to add some nutritious leaves, add it and cook dal for some more time (5 minutes).

Cut onion in to small pieces and keep it aside. same for garlic as well.

Keep a pan on flame/heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add mustard seeds and allow it to pops up. Add curry leaves, dried red chilli (cut in to halves), cumin seeds and onions. Once onion starts changing its colour add fenugreek and garlic also. Saute for few more seconds. Reduce the flame and add chilli powder directly to the oil. Within 5-10 seconds add cooked daal (step1) to this and add salt and remaining water. Stir well.

Tips: Do not delay in adding cooked daal to thadka so that chilli powder doesn’t burn-out.

Keep this in the low flame for 10 minutes to get thick dal thadka.

Serve your Dal Thada with rice or roti.

I love to have it with ghee rice (prepared using special type of rice called jeera rice)



  1. Bhavya

    September 30, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I tried this last time. but used only chilles(no chillipowder) and cooked even onion and garlic with dal.

    let me try it this way .. will tell u how it comes out

    • Sini

      September 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Do try and share how it goes πŸ™‚ Hope you will be amazed at how changing the order of things (or such minor changes) alter the dish a lot

  2. Bhavya

    October 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    It came out well.since u had mentioned to be carefule not to burn chillipowder i added dal exact aftr 5 secs.. initially thot i shd have fried chilli powder for some more time as that raw smell was there.. but as the daal got into boiling… it was all fine:)

    tx a lot..

    ur tips and exact measurements makes it easy to cook..:)

    • Sini

      October 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      glad you liked it

  3. Bhavya

    October 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    got into ur blog to plan for tommorrow’s menu[weekend menu]..
    one suggestion/req if there an indication of new additions/ like recent comments helps:) for lazy goose like me.

    • Sini

      October 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      posts in the home page are sorted by date, with the last entry coming on top. hope that helps πŸ™‚

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I love cooking and trying out various recipes, and also to come up with ways to achieve good results in reasonable time and effort ? All of the recipes I post here were tried out by me at least 2-3 times (if not a few dozen times) before I was happy with a simple method which gives me good results. Hope you enjoy making these dishes. Would be thrilled if you let me know in the comments how your experiment went. If you have recipe requests for any Malabar dishes, please contact me and I’ll make every effort to get the recipe, try it out and post it here.

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